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28th Jun 2018

Everything you need to know about the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby 2018

We're going!


Brought to you by The Curragh.

With weather like this, sure what else would you be doing?

Top of the list for our summer events calendar is indeed The Ultimate Summer Festival at Kildare’s Curragh Racecourse.

Most notable is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival – and if you’re feeling like sipping on your favourite tipple, enjoying the summer sunshine, feeling confident and placing a few bets and having an absolute ball, then you’ve oodles to look forward to.

Here are some key highlights of the weekend that are totally worth knowing before you get to the racecourse.


The 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival takes place from Friday June 29 to Sunday July 1 Saturday June 30.


The Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare.

In store for Friday is…

It’s Derby Friday AND the second day of Summer Sounds and the Curragh! With the first race starting at 5.35pm you’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the superb night ahead with complimentary shuttle busses delivering you to the Studio One venue, should you want the night to last longer (it’s free admission for racecourse ticket holder too!).

Before this though, expect superb live music from 2fm DJ Bláithnaid Treacy after the race and don’t miss the Her Apprentice Derby at 7.10pm (yes, we have our own race!), JOE’s Handicap at 6.35pm and the SportsJOE Maiden at 8.55pm.

What’s happening on Saturday?

It’s Derby Day! Racing kicks off at 1.45pm with the feature Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at 5.20pm. Today is the highlight of the entire weekend – hosting the Most Stylish Lady Competition AND a chance to win a trip to Dubai!

You’ll see plenty dressed to the nines and one lucky fashionista (perhaps yourself) will soon be staying in the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, Dubai, and the winner will also have a €1,000 Dubai Duty Free spending spree to indulge in!

Before the Most Stylish Lady even sets foot on a plane though, she will get the chance to relax and unwind for one night at the prestigious K Club, in Kildare.

The music line up includes up and coming band State Lights (playing after racing), and Irish vocalist Gemma Sugrue, performing the Irish National Anthem and Curragh of Kildare. It’s a day you don’t want to miss!

What about Sunday?

The first of the racing starts at 2pm and features the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes.

Will there be food?

Absolutely, and delicious food at that. The Garden Plaza will be serving the some of the greatest dishes from some of Kildare’s leading restaurants and food producers over the entire weekend. Best of all it’s entirely free for racegoers. You’ll find it beside the parade ring.

How to get there.

It’s easy-peasy. Options include a shuttle bus from Kildare train station and Kildare Village, plus a dedicated Dublin Coach service from Burgh Quay. You can book combined tickets and bus transfers here.

By car:

Get yourself on the M50 and follow on to N7 southbound and M7 to Curragh Chase (R413) in Kildare. Take exit 12 off of the M7 and you’re just 2 minutes away. (Approx. 50 minutes). When you arrive, you’ll find plenty of free car parking. Regular racegoers can opt for annual preferred car parking at a nominal rate.

By bus:

Dublin Coach provide a service to the races on all race days from Dublin Airport via the Red Cow Luas with stops in Naas and Newbridge and from Burgh Quay in Dublin city centre via Kildare Village and from Limerick and Portlaoise.

By train:

Hop on a train heading from Heuston Station (Dublin), Waterford, Cork, Limerick or Galway to Kildare Town with a complimentary Shuttle Bus to the racecourse.

Brought to you by The Curragh.

Summer Sounds at The Curragh incorporates racing and live music on three Friday nights this summer – part of the three day Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival. The remaining dates are June 29 and August 31.

The nights incorporate a mix of fresh young Irish talent and acts. Confirmed to date are Seo Linn and 2fm DJ Blaithnaid Treacy. Tickets start at €12 and hospitality at €29. Book online at